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From Chigwell's man-eater to a 102-year-old witch: Lesley Joseph talks latest role in The Addams Family

Lesley Joseph is set to play the role of Grandma in The Addams Family at The London Palladium (Getty)
Lesley Joseph is set to play the role of Grandma in The Addams Family at The London Palladium (Getty)

Lesley Joseph will forever be synonymous with her sex-obsessed leopard print clad Birds of a Feather character Dorien Green in the hit TV sitcom, but theatre goers are set to see her in a whole new light when she plays an eccentric 102-year-old witch.

She has been cast as Grandma in a concert version of musical comedy The Addams Family at The London Palladium for a strictly limited run of three shows on February 12 and 13.

Speaking to The Standard ahead of rehearsals, she says she can't wait to hit the stage and laughs when we say we can't imagine her playing a centenarian.

"I will look 102, I promise you, by the time I put on mad hair and a mad costume and all of it, physically change my body a little bit, I’ll probably look 150 to be honest," the 78-year-old London-born star winks.

"She’s eccentric and she’s wacky and she’s a witch and a potion dealer and all of these fun things and I’ll just immerse myself in it."

Michelle Visage and Ramin Karimloo pictured as their characters Morticia and Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (Craig Sugden)
Michelle Visage and Ramin Karimloo pictured as their characters Morticia and Gomez Addams in The Addams Family (Craig Sugden)

Starring alongside her will be Broadway star Ramin Karimloo as Gomez and RuPaul's Drag Race favourite Michelle Visage as Joseph's on-stage daughter Morticia.

The two go back a long way and Joseph even says Visage manifested her playing her mother.

She explained: "I knew Michelle from when I did Strictly with [singer] Anastacia [in 2016]. She used to come over and she’d always say ‘Oh, I’d love to play your daughter in something.’ So, when I said yes to this, I sent her a message saying ‘Guess who’s playing your mother!’ She couldn’t quite believe it, so that was good."

Another draw for Joseph was the iconic venue as despite her numerous stage roles, she says she has never played there.

"I think the only thing I’ve ever done there is a charity night singing We’re A Couple Of Swells with Bradley Walsh," she laughs, painting quite the visual image.

"I love the fact that they are doing concert versions, but with the costumes and with the orchestra band on stage, you know, no books in hand. So it’s a concert, but it’s actually a performance so yeah, it ticks all of the boxes for me.

"At my age, I’m ticking boxes with lots of things that I want to do before I decide to retire, which won’t be yet."

The Addams Family will play at the London Palladium on Monday 12 February at 7.30pm and Tuesday 13 February at 3pm and 7:30pm. Tickets are available from lwtheatres.co.uk/the-london-palladium or by calling the box office on 020 3925 2998.